Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Big Screen Clear

Over at Christianity Today, Jeffrey Overstreet makes reference to a slough of Christmas movies in his article, “It Came Upon a Big Screen Clear.”

Take a look-see, but pay special attention to the last section “Not Just Another Fairy Tale,” his take on the Nativity and Atheism displays at the Washington State Capitol.

Beauty vs. Rhetoric – it’s nice every once and a while to see Christians argue with beauty.

The article in general got me to thinking about my favorite Christmas shows.

Joyeux Noel is worth the visit. A Christmas Story makes me nostalgic for a time I never lived in. It’s A Wonderful Life simply for the reminder of the pain we go through for the joy we can live.

You can revisit last year’s blog to learn of my all-time favorite Christmas media event, and why. Part One. Part Two. Part Three. Part Four. Part Five. Part Six.

What Christmas/Holiday movies hold up for you?

Just my thoughts,


Monday, December 15, 2008

Buskers United

What is some of the best street musicians got together and jammed?

Or, what if they didn't get together, but just jammed together?

And what if it was organized by a group that also punned the phrase "playing for change?"

You would get this: a great version of "Stand By Me."

Kinda moving, along the lines of that doofy guy that dances around the world.

Just my thoughts,


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Today of 1922

This month’s book club choice was BABBITT by Sinclair Lewis.

A vivid portrait of American mores in 1922 – with nary a description of life and values that isn’t still just as relevant today.

The novel takes a look at the mid-life crisis of one George F. Babbitt, middle-class real estate man looking to find his place in the world.

The heart of the book seems summed up in early speech by Babbitt himself:

“Kind of comes over me: here I’ve pretty much done all the things I ought to; supported my family, and got a good house and a six-cylinder car, and built up a nice little business, and I haven’t any vices ‘specially, except smoking – and I’m practically cutting that out, by the way. And I belong to the church, and play enough golf to keep in trim, and I only associate with good decent fellows. And yet, even so, I don’t know that I’m entirely satisfied!”

And off he goes, in search of that rolling stone of satisfaction.

Which he can’t get no of.

Later in the book:

“Thus it came to him merely to run away was folly, because he could never run away from himself.”

The book is a comedy, with funny lines and funny moments, that well up to a sadness of the life of the man who has everything – except the courage to embrace a meaningful existence.

Side note: another quote that I can apply to far too many people in the past months:

“She was a crusader and, like every crusader, she exulted in the opportunity to be vicious in the name of virtue.”


Just my thoughts,


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Bit Player, A Robot and a Princess Walk Into a Bar...

Two STAR WARS adjacent things for today:

First off, over at Jeffrey's blog, he's all excited by a book cover. Now I'm not one to go all tweener-watching-Twilight over a book cover. But I went & looked anyway, and have to tell ya-

Jeff's right.

Book. Cover. Of. The. Year.

Second off:

As I surf blogs and articles on the net, I skim and pass on most, am intrigued by many, and get up enough excitement by some to want to participate.

And every now and then, I find a post that, dad-gum-it, I wish I wrote.

Mark Shea has gone and written such an article.

Nicely done, Mr. Shea.

Just my thoughts,


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sensational Sight

Here’s an interesting interview with my friend Buzz McLaughlin.

Y’all may have heard about Buzz through me either regarding his plays, or his book on playrwriting, THE PLAYWRIGHT’S PROCESS, which is where I steal much of my writing lectures.

(To ease my guilt for stealing, I make all my writing students buy the book.)

This article is in regards to a film he produced, THE SENSATION OF SIGHT, which is now out on dvd. (The movie stars one of my favorite performers – David Strathairn.)

I’ve blogged briefly about the film before – it is a beautiful, haunting, wonderful movie. Hard kind of movie to describe in a logline – but in a good way (not the messy, “gee, I’m not sure how describe this mess” way).

It is a movie of subtext and relationships and… Well, I’m starting to make it sound high-falutin’.
And that’s the problem with explaining this movie – it isn’t nearly as highbrow as it sounds; it just works the way that the folks that make highbrow movies wish their movies worked.

As Buzz says in the interview:

“We're trying to reach an audience that is willing to ponder difficult questions, but doesn't want to be led by the hand—an audience that will, if we're successful, accept the invitation and begin the search themselves.”

And does so without being high falutin’.

Just my thoughts,